Following the line left with the previous post i now bring you one of my favorite releases of this year, Belong, with their beautiful album "Common Era". This is the first album in five years from this experimental duo. Both the time invested, and the wait, have been well rewarded with this return. "Common Era" shows extraordinary progression from that first album of dense, scorched earth instrumentals, hints of a new direction having been revealed on the EP from 2008. The new material has such common pop elements as songs, vocals and drum machines, but the results could hardly be called conventional and are like little else happening on the current scene. Never heard anything like this.. it's not quite shoegaze, although the songs deliver a thick wall of sound, that is usual in that genre. The songs themselves are like radio transmissions received from another time and place, just as likely to be the future as the past, or even from a contemporary alternate universe. They are both passionate and dispassionate, grey yet technicolor, ghostly and palpable, distant yet immediate, grainy and focused. Upon listening these conceptual contradictions are dismissed with ease, as the recordings reveal that they fit all of these descriptors simultaneously, an extraordinary balancing act. Highly Recommended.